“What The Shuck?”

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an industry event in Creede, CO, along with my cohort, Jon, and several other fly fishing players from around the region. Two of our favorite brands, Simms and Idylwilde, were our hosts–introducing us to some killer new products, arranging round-table discussions, and wrangling up some local guides to oar us around the Rio Grande for a few days. Yes, a definite perk of the business!

Jon and I arrived a few hours early on Sunday, albeit on purpose–we wanted to explore the South Fork of the Rio before joining the crew. We started off on a fairly good looking stretch of high, but very fishy looking water. I took the dry-dropper method on inside seams and riffles, while Jon followed with a double-nymph rig hitting the deeper runs. No dice. The water looked great, but we were obviously wasting valuable daylight. We opted to move upstream.

We ended up on a smaller section of the Fork a few miles up the canyon and figured out how to net a handful of browns and rainbows. I gotta admit, catching a 10″ trout in a creek felt pretty good! Stupid runoff…

After joining the others, participating in a number of meetings and discussions, it was off to the Rio Grande. The Rio was up and stained, but very good! Our crew of 20 or so were set up in rafts and driftboats provided by the Ramble House out of Creede, Wolf Creek Anglers out of South Fork and Pagosa Springs, and Duranglers out of Durango. Amazing guides and amazing guys–all of them.

The bugs were ridiculous! Stones, drakes, caddis…at times you had to breathe though your teeth. Patrick from Idylwilde provided several patterns for us to try out, all of which produced fish on the first day of fishing. The Chubby and the Film Critic ruled the river for most. Fish literally jumped out of the water for both.

The last two days I fished a single dry almost exclusively. That meant placing my Film Critic with pinpoint accuracy in every cut along the bank. Pinpoint accuracy proved to be a little more of a challenge on the third day, though, due to my clouded brain and body caused by a PBR and Maker’s Mark hangover. Still put a lot of nice fish in the boat.

If you’re needing to get away from the front range runoff and find some big, hungry trout eating a variety of bugs, take the 5 hour drive down to Creede. Look up the Ramble House, Wolf Creek Anglers, or Duranglers for a guide and boat, and get on the water. It’s fishing superbly right now.

A big thanks to the aforementioned outfitters, Patrick of Idlywilde Flies, and Michael White and Andy Wunsch of Simms! What a great event and what great fishing!